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JPett

1:40 Frigate Berlin - Corel

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Ahoy Mates :D
 

Please find my initial “out of box” review of Corel's Frigate Berlin. Please note that I am relatively new to this hobby and "easily impressed".  

 

 

I found the quality of the parts in this kit to be of a very high standard. The kit  includes four sheets of single sided plans, an instruction manual, a vacuum formed plastic organizer of bits, another containing the gilded metal fashion pieces, canvas sail material and of course some wood. Also included was a very nice “coffee table style” book/catalog of Corel’s products and a small wooden bending jig. In the future, I will do a full inventory all of parts and post any issues or changes.

 

 

The wood supplied in this kit was "gorgeous". There was no trace of any laser burn on any of the parts, bulkheads and keel parts were all precut, packaged in bags. The plywood bulkheads and hardwood keel items were impressive in their size and the thickness of the wood used; this is a big kit. The planking and other lengths supplied were clean, straight, and rich in color suggesting pieces were individually selected. There were very few dowels leading me to believe that I will be making masts from "scratch". The only disappointment so far in the kit supplied wood; the instructions suggest scribing planks for the deck. This leads me to believe I will be purchasing some additional wood for this kit. The long boat is a pre-carved “plug” style build and again; nicely done.

 

 

 The four sheets of plans or plates were crisp, highly detailed, and very informative; including images showing systematically how to complete some of the steps. The two dedicated to rigging were clean, well organized and gave the reader a very good understanding of the task. I cannot attest to the accuracy of these plans however. Although very well thought out and clear, there is no sheer plan, half breadth views, or planking layout on any of the included sheets. The plan notes are all in Italian too, and 'for me" will need to be translated. Overall I found the plans to be very good and of exceptional quality. The rigging plot is the best I have seen to date.

 

 

I will use the word “included" to describe the instructions: They only convey an order to the build and not much more (It is listed as an advanced kit). On a plus, the index in the back of this book was very informative providing an excellent resource/appendix to the plans. Images and print quality were top notch. English translations were understandable and at times humorous.

 

 

The bits were well packaged and again of a high quality. Quite a few are boxwood (Blocks, deadeyes and belaying pins), all are either hardwoods or metal (brass, copper, or the gilded metal). I found no Britannia or plastic except for the lantern glass. The photo etch was copper and much thicker then any I have seen before and well done. Five types of rope are included. In the minus column, the instructions state that the kit does not contain any blocks for the cannons. The cannons themselves are "gilded metal"; a milled piece of hardwood creates the carriages.

 

 

The Gilded metal pieces are all nicely detailed. They are cast and quite heavy. I am uncertain of their make-up but can tell they will need to be securely mounted.

 

I have a small reservation regarding how these parts will handle any tuning, changes, or touch ups.

 

:piratetongueor4: 

The construction of this kit will require some additional tools and skills for me to work the harder wood. Look for my build log sometime in 2014/15 here on MSW.

 

 

Please feel free to post any questions you might have regarding this kit. I will do my best to answer them. For now I have re-sealed all the packages (less the plans and instructions) and stored the box in what I hope will be a safe location. I purchased this kit on sale from Model Expo (Presidents day sale). I feel I received much more then I paid for.

 

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JPett,

 

Do you want this moved to the build logs?  Or will you be opening a new log and keep this for review commentary?

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Ahoy Mark :D

 

I was not sure what to do. I will not be starting this build for at least a year, maybe two. The forum was listed as Kit Discription. Your call

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WOW!  Where did this come from??????????????????  Let me see if it's up as a log yet.

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DUH!   Here it is!!!!!!

 

I'll be following.  I don't care if you don't start until 2019..........but you MUST finish Rattlesnake first!!!!!!!!!

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Ahoy Mates :D

 

Brian C: Thanks for your post. My thoughts right now were to add Basswood (American Limewood) fillers and single plank over those. Right now, my only planking experience has been with the Basswood. It there something I need to know about the Walnut. I have also found a European Forum and in it, an interesting comment about this ship having Clinker style planks on the aft end. Need to do more research on it and perhaps planking with walnut.

 

Captain Scott: Thank You and I look forward too building her

 

Augie: No Log, I have to get past the brute force and superstition phase of shipwright 101 before commencing on this project. I bought the kit on a whim. It was on sale, I had a small nest egg for a saw that I will now not be getting any time soon, and I wanted to see what a higher quality kit came with. I also loved her lines and all things Italian LOL. I actually have one more kit in storage (HMS Pandora by Constructro) that I might finish before starting this one. It was my first ever attempt and I barely glued on a few bulkheads before relocating to TX. She did not make the move but I think its time she joins the party.

 

Sometime next year after the Ratt is rigged and sitting pretty.  " of course" :bird-vi:

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JPett,... I also have this particular Corel kit on standby and look forward to sharing the adventure later on. Nice commentary on the kit contents,...it's been my experience that Corel doesn't disappoint. Keith Julier has also added some tips on the Berlin construction in one of his series on various builds...it may come in handy.

 

JP

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Ahoy JP :D

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

I googled Keith Julier. He has been a busy man. You wouldn't happen to remember which series?

 

I completely agree with your statement regarding Corel. It is really nice to see some of the manufacturers have stuck to their guns regarding the quality of their products.

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Jpett.....the .particular volume is "The Period Ship Handbook"   ---he concentrates on the Royal William for the most part but the Berlin is included among others--- Oddly enough he also alluded to the minor failing of the kit regarding "scribing" the deck ....but I as well as most builders would choose to add individual planking when the time comes.

 

JP

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Ahoy JP :D

 

 

Thank you, I will check into purchasing that book.
 

As for the deck, I have no ill feeling regarding Corel's choice to supply a piece of wood to be scribed for the deck. It is of very a good stock and will, I am sure find a home in another form. Manufacturers must make choices to maintain price points. Had Corel supplied precut lumber for the deck this additional expense may have increased the cost to the consumer. Pricing the kit in a market slot it would struggle to succeed in. This is the dance and a misstep here has been the cause of many a failure in the business world.
 

What I do not appreciate is when a manufacturer uses garbage to maintain or increase their profit margin as some do, to supply the required parts. :angry: 

 

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Ahoy Ferit

 

Thank you :)

 

When I start this build I will do a log in the kit section and look forward to your comments

 

Until then, please feel free to post your thoughts on the kit here

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Hi JPett,  I am actually finishing my Berlin kit and I can tell you that there is a lot of fun on it. The materials are excellent and there is enough of wood and riggings. The plans are very detailed and accurate, however I miss more of that in the instructions book. You are right about the missing planks for the deck, you can get them from modelexpo. Also, there are many fittings that can be improved or be made by yourself (doors, deck furniture, windows, etc.) Whenever you decide to begin with this kit send me a post and I will be happy to help you.

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Hello Rodrigo

 

I have laid the keel for this kit and am in the process of Building the Endeavour and A different A/L version of the Bounty (one with the two decks and single plank walnut hull. Would be interested in anything you can pass on about the Berlin as Like our friend I find the booklet good but mostly in Italian.

When I start planking I will post a build log and looking at starting one for the bounty as I have not seen a log for this kit as yet. (it was purchased in the 90's and was a new revamp of the bounty at the time. Only ever saw 1 of them so they may be a rarer version from A/L.) The scale is 1/96 and the model is a reasonable size to work on.

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Greetings JPett,

 

I built this kit a couple of years ago and it is a great kit. Yes, get some basswood strips for the decks instead of trying to score the deck pieces as recommended. In my opinion, the single layer of walnut planking is perfectly fine and you can build the kit without a first layer of basswood. You will note that the keel former is quite flexible after the bulkheads are installed. I am not a believer in routinely filling in between bulkheads, but you will need to install some simple struts between the bulkheads to maintain alignment on this kit. Once the planking is done, she will tighten right up. Don't forget to compensate for the increased deck thickness if you plank the decks.

 

wq3296

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Hi JPett (and other commenters)

 

I just purchased this kit (couldn't resist another ME sale!!) and am very impressed. I've build a few Corel kits and have the Bellona on the shelf and this Berlin looks truly wonderful too. 

 

I, too am thinking of double planking the hull, mostly because my planking skills are not of the best.....the 2 x 4mm walnut supplied with the kit can easily be replaced by either 1.5 or 1mm lime plus .5 or 1mm walnut and would be more forgiving for those who are not as confident in their planking skills....

 

One interesting feature I noticed about the wood supplied with the kit is that the square stock they supply for the masts and spars is both pre-cut to length and pre-tapered, which is a very unique feature I've never encountered before.

 

I also miss the deck planking and would like to plank the deck rather than use the method suggested by Corel. I'm assuming, though, that increased supports for the deck planking will be necessary (especially for the large main gun deck) so the planking doesn't sag....does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

Anyway, it seems that there are a few Berlin's waiting in the wings - if some people start in the near-ish future, I might move mine up in the schedule a bit to tag along. Thanks for posting this excellent review

hamilton

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Hamilton
I wanted to deck my Rattlesnake with Birdseye :D maple veneer. So I made a sub deck with 1/23 " plywood. worked well for me. :)

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Thanks Dwaine! I'm thinking of going with maple, but I think I'm going to take stock of some wood replacements in a few kits I've got on the shelf and try to make a bulk order.......

hamilton

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 The four sheets of plans or plates were crisp, highly detailed, and very informative; including images showing systematically how to complete some of the steps. The two dedicated to rigging were clean, well organized and gave the reader a very good understanding of the task. I cannot attest to the accuracy of these plans however. Although very well thought out and clear, there is no sheer plan, half breadth views, or planking layout on any of the included sheets. The plan notes are all in Italian too, and 'for me" will need to be translated. Overall I found the plans to be very good and of exceptional quality. The rigging plot is the best I have seen to date.

 

 

 

Hi JPett - I was just re-reading your review of the Berlin and wanted to let you know about something (if you haven't already discovered it) that I noticed when I was reviewing my Berlin kit contents. The Italian notes on the plans are translated into English (and French and German) in the instruction booklet, towards the end under the list of tables.....I was a little jarred by the italian on the plans, too, until I found these translations....

hamilton

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